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New report on aid for education – ‘Rising to the challenge’

Norad, the Norwegian development agency, has published a new report on assistance for education, ‘Rising to the challenge: Results of Norwegian education aid, 2013-2016’. The report shows that between 2013 and 2016, 3.1 million children received schooling with the help of Norwegian aid. 1.6 million of these children lived in vulnerable states. Funds allocated to education in the Norwegian education-assistance budget rose from NOK1.7 billion (US$208 million) in 2013 to NOK3.2 billion (US$392 million) in 2016.

Report – Norad

Norway Education

Save the Children criticizes the Progress Party for implying that development funding does not work

Minister of Immigration and Integration, Sylvi Listhaug (Norwegian Progress Party), and Knut Arild Hareide (leader of the Christian Democratic Party), are locked in a debate about Norwegian development policy. In a commentary published in NRK, Gunvor Knag Fylkesnes, head of politics and society for Save the Children Norway, criticized Listhaug for implying that development funding does not work. Fylkesnes is, however, pleased that development aid is now part of the political debate leading up to the elections in September.

News article – NRK [in Norwegian]

Norway

Recent study shows less advantage targeting money transfers to mothers than previously thought

Norwegian development outlet ‘Bistandsaktuelt’ has published a study that challenges consensus around direct money transfers and the welfare of children. It is generally accepted in development literature that targeting financial support to mothers rather than fathers produces larger gains for children’s welfare. A recent study on decisions relating to children’s welfare in Tanzanian families found that, at least for direct money transfers, it makes little difference which parent receives the support. The ability of long-term thinking was a variable with greater explanatory power than gender.

Website – Bistandsaktuelt (in Norwegian)

Norway

State Secretary criticizes Norwegian opposition’s lack of development policy

State Secretary Marit Berger Røsland has criticized the opposition Labour Party for not having a clear strategy for development aid. According to Røsland, the current government has shown international leadership in the field, and increased efforts in education and humanitarian aid.

Press release– Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs [in Norwegian]

Norway

Debate on Norwegian ODA continues

In a recent opinion piece, former Norwegian Minister of International Development, Tom Vraalsen, and former Norad Director, Per Ø. Grimstad, challenge the lack of critical public debate about Norway's ODA. While acknowledging Norway's 1% ODA/GNI target, they call for more specification of it, and propose:

  • to establish an expert group to review the ODA budget and remove any funding to 'unspecific' development cooperation e.g., consultant fees and spending in-country that clearly doesn´t benefit recipient countries
  • to divide the resulting ODA budget across the UN system, other multilateral organizations, and Norwegian and international NGOs
  • that Norad, Norway’s development agency, with the Office of the Auditor General of Norway, be responsible for evaluating the country’s development cooperation, including through an anually published public report

Opinion piece - Aftenposten (in Norwegian)

Norway

Norway increases investments in sexual and reproductive health

At the Family Planning 2020 conference in London, State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Laila Bokhari, detailed Norway’s increased investments in sexual and reproductive health, reaching NOK 700 million between 2017 and 2020 (US$87 million). This includes a 25% increase in Norway’s core contribution to the UN Family and Population Agency (UNFPA), of which NOK50 million (US$6 million) will go to support women living in areas of crisis and conflict, and to contraceptives for women in the poorest countries. Together with the UNFPA and other partners, Norway will take initiative to expand comprehensive sexuality education to protect the health and well-being of adolescents. A conference on this topic will be held in Oslo between December 2017 and January 2018. In addition, Norway has announced that it will support a range of civil-society organizations, and its development agency, Norad, is about to enter several multiple-year contracts worth NOK400 million (US$50 million).

News report – Prime Minister’s Office

Norway Global health

Former Norwegian Development Minister and former Director of Norad criticize Norwegian ODA practices

Per Ø. Grimstad, former director of Norwegian development agency Norad, and Tom Vraalsen, former Development Minister, published an article in the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten, entitled “Development aid should not be a safe haven where politicians can spend big money on what suits them”. In this article, they argue Norwegian development practices are not focused enough on benefiting the world's poorest, and that they lack proper evaluations and reporting. They also suggest a reorganization of the development budget, including eliminating certain items and dividing responsibility through various entities, as well as creating annual reports.

Opinion piece - Aftenposten (in Norwegian)

Norway

PM details Norway’s asks for global health and global health R&D at G20

While a guest at the 2017 G20, Norway’s Prime Minister (PM) Erna Solberg called upon member countries to strengthen global health systems. She reflected that while the number of maternal and child deaths has halved in the past two decades, other major health crises like Ebola have revealed the need for greater action. Tackling pandemics requires global and cross-sector response, while preventing pandemics requires resilient health and suveillance systems. In this context, PM Solberg also encouraged the G20 to foster research and development (R&D) for pandemic preparedness through support to globally coordinated WHO consistent models such as the Coalition for Emergency Preparedness Innovations (CEPI)

Opening remarks at the health section of the G20 summit – Norwegian government

Norway Global health

Norway announces priorities for food security and agriculture for G20

At the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)'s 40th session, Norway’s Minister of Agriculture and Food detailed the country’s priorities for the G20 in agriculture and food security. As a guest at the G20, Norway has taken an active role in promoting Agenda 2030 in this arena. Norway calls upon leaders  to improve income-earning opportunities in rural areas, transform agriculture to attract the young, and address the root causes of migration, while making food systems more efficient, inclusive, and resilient to crises, disasters, and conflicts. It also calls on the FAO to take a leading role for global food security.

Speech – Norwegian Government website ( in Norwegian)

Norway Agriculture

Norway strengthens partnership and political engagement with Tanzania

During a trip to Tanzania, Norway’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Børge Brende, signed an agreement to strengthen dialogue on foreign and development policy between the two countries. According to the International Monetary Fund, Tanzania was the second-fastest-growing economy in 2016, and aims to become a middle-income country by 2025. In parallel, the share of ODA in its budget has decreased in the past ten years, from 40% to 10%. However, the country still faces major challenges, including widespread poverty.

Press release – Prime Minister’s office (in Norwegian)

Norway